“The Stone Raft is a weird one,” says Phil Ward of the New York agave den Mayahuel. “I figured that people weren’t going to like it or order it, but I thought it was so god-damn good I put it on the menu anyway.”
A combination of amontillado, mezcal, jalapeño tequila, celery bitters, and a barspoon of agave nectar, the Stone Raft is a distant cousin of the Oaxaca Old-Fashioned, one of the first drinks Ward ever made with mezcal—his “spirit” spirit. The Stone Raft was born out of a long line of riffs on the drink.
The adamantly savory combination of herbal-smoky-nutty is unusual, but despite Ward’s prediction that the drink would be met with sneers, it went on to become the obsession of many fans of Mayahuel and has been a mainstay on the menu since the bar opened.
Reprinted with permission from Sherry by Talia Baiocchi, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.